18 Taliban militants killed in clash with Afghan troops

October 15th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Oct 15 (Xinhua) At least 18 Taliban militants were killed when the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the police repulsed a pincer attack by the insurgents on Lashkar Gha city in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, provincial authorities said Wednesday.Police chief Assadullah Shirzad told reporters that the insurgents mounted the attacks on the southern and northern parts of the provincial capital Tuesday morning but were driven out by the ANA and the police with the help of the locals.

Three police personnel were injured in the operation, he said.

Taliban militants Sunday lost 100 of their fighters when Afghan troops with the support of NATO gunships pounded their positions.

Insurgency-linked violence have left more than 4,500 people mostly insurgents so far this year in Afghanistan as Kai Eide, top UN representative for Afghanistan, warned Tuesday that Taliban insurgents in the country are likely to step up attacks in coming weeks, before the onset of winter.

Meanwhile, Afghan envoy to the UN said Tuesday the Taliban has become a threat to the region seven years after they were ousted from power in the country.

Zahir Tanin told the UN Security Council Al Qaeda and Taliban rebels have set up their base in Pakistani territory along the border with Afghanistan.

Taliban and Al Qaeda forces have intensified the fighting at Afghan borders with Pakistan, timing their campaign to presidential elections in the United States this year and presumably in Afghanistan in 2009 “to force a change in international commitment”. Tanin said.

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